Camden Theological Library

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The Welcoming Congregation : Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality

Posted on 6 June 2013 Gavin Glenn

"Every time people sit down to eat and drink together, there is the possibility that community will grow and people will be reconciled to one another. This is good news for a fractured and polarized world, and a strong sign of the importance of being a welcoming congregation that embraces all people with God's love and grace."

-From the introduction


This practical book by pastor and writer Henry G. Brinton studies the biblical basis for Christian hospitality and how it is practiced in congregations today. While recognizing the challenges for embracing all people in the life of the church, Brinton offers a helpful guide for creating a hospitable congregation and welcoming others through spiritual formation, reconciliation, and outreach. He includes discussion questions and an action plan in each chapter.


“In this beautifully written book, Henry Brinton shows us what Christian hospitality looks like, feels like, tastes and sounds like in faith communities today. It is a hands-on account of how churches can take active steps to achieving the openness and diversity they crave, but often have no idea how to create. Hospitality, he tells us, isn't just being nice; it is actively welcoming all--and he means ALL--God's children. A radical concept? Maybe. A faithful practice?  Absolutely.”

-Serene Jones,
President, Union Theological Seminary


“Brinton captures the radical spirit of hospitality in all its dimensions--biblical, spiritual, social, political and theological. This book carries the conversation forward from the voice of a seasoned pastor focused on congregational practices, from on-the-ground guidance for first steps to the very real fruits of congregational practices of welcome. A great read for any church that's serious about hospitality.”

-Amy G. Oden,
Dean and Professor of History of Christianity, Wesley Theological Seminary
and author of God’s Welcome: Hospitality for a Gospel Hungry World


Henry G. Brinton is Senior Pastor of Fairfax Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, Virginia. He is a regular contributor to USA Today and the Washington Post, as well as the author of several books, including Balancing Acts: Obligation, Liberation, and Contemporary Christian Conflicts.

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